Local food and drink goes down a storm at Westminster event

Brendan with represntatives of Ritchies of Bute
Brendan with represntatives of Ritchies of Bute

The very best food and drink from Bute was on display at Westminster last week at a special event showcasing local produce to London buyers.

Twelve companies representing some of the very best food and drink producers Argyll and Bute has to offer, wowed MPs, Peers and perhaps more importantly, some of London’s most important food and drink buyers at a food expo organised by local MP Brendan O’Hara.

Brendan O'Hara MP's  'Taste of Argyll and Bute' event held in the House of Commons, Tuesday 30th January.

Brendan O'Hara MP's 'Taste of Argyll and Bute' event held in the House of Commons, Tuesday 30th January.

The high profile event, ‘A Taste of Argyll and Bute’, was co-hosted by Eleanor, Duchess of Argyll, and was supported by the Food from Argyll group.

Among those welcomed to parliament by Mr O’Hara were Loch Fyne Oysters, The Scottish Salmon Company, Bute Brewery, Mull of Kintyre Cheese, the Puffer from Easdale, Argyll Hill Lamb, Fyne Ales, Lochawe Smokehouse, The Slate Island Seaweed Company, Ritchie’s of Bute, Gigha Halibut and Lussa Gin from Jura.

Apart from treating dozens of MPs and Lords to some fantastic locally produced food and drink, those who made the 1000 mile round trip to London also had the opportunity to meet and discuss business with several high-end shop buyers as well as representatives and chefs from some quality London restaurants.

Also on hand at Westminster to lend their support to the event were representatives from Argyll and Bute Council, Highland and Islands Enterprise and The Food and Drink Federation. 

Brendan O'Hara MP with Eleanor, Duchess of Argyll with some lovely smoked salmon from Ritchies of Bute

Brendan O'Hara MP with Eleanor, Duchess of Argyll with some lovely smoked salmon from Ritchies of Bute

Mr O’Hara said afterwards: “This is something I have wanted to do for some time. I honestly believe that Argyll and Bute produces some of the finest food and drink in the world and I wanted to showcase this here in Westminster .  

“I was determined that this wasn’t just a tasting event and I wanted as many of the top-end buyers along to sample what we have to offer.  

“It would be absolutely wonderful if as a result of this event our producers returned to Argyll and Bute with some orders on their books or some new business leads.

“I am very grateful to my co-host, Eleanor, the Duchess of Argyll, and ‘Food from Argyll’ who have given fantastic support for this event, and to everyone who attended and made this such a success.”

Eleanor, The Duchess of Argyll, who was equally delighted and impressed with the event, added: “We knew that an offering of some of the best in food from Argyll would be a draw, but the response to one of Scotland’s most famous food destinations was amazing.  The room was packed and the enthusiasm for the produce from across the region was fantastic.”

Jennifer Nicol of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, also gave the event her support.

She said: “This event has provided a great opportunity to demonstrate a sample of the quality produce available from the Argyll and Bute region, and the fantastic experience and enthusiasm of the producers involved.  

“We hope to see even more local produce in the restaurants and food stores throughout the UK, and look forward to working with the businesses involved as they further expand their markets in the UK and internationally.”